Commissioner responds to new statutory aggravating factor for sexually violent homicides

The Ministry of Justice has today announced:

  • A new statutory aggravating factor will be brought in for offenders who cause death through abusive, degrading or dangerous sexual behaviour
  • The Government has appointed leading academic Professor Katrin Hohl as the new Independent Advisor to the Rape Review.
  • The Government has also launched a Victims’ Code campaign, to raise awareness of the rights everyone can expect to receive as a victim of crime.

Nicole Jacobs, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales says, “Domestic abuse and sexual violence are closely linked crimes. One in three rapes and sexual assaults are perpetrated by current and ex-partners, and victims of intimate partner rape and sexual violence face particular barriers in finding justice.

“I welcome the appointment of Professor Katrin Hohl as the Independent Advisor to the Rape Review, which has already made significant steps to improve the criminal justice response. Professor Hohl’s work has helped to ensure the Rape Review is underpinned by rigorous evidence, including from victims themselves.

“It is absolutely right that sentences reflect the severity of sexually violent homicides, building on the prohibition of the “rough-sex” defence through the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. The Wade Review recommendations must not be cherry picked. I am again calling for the introduction of the full suite of recommendations so that perpetrators of domestic abuse who kill their partners are appropriately held to account.”